House of Representatives, yesterday approved the presidential declaration order, 2022 for the creation of 10 parks with national status.
The parks were Allawa Game Reserve, Niger State; Apoi Forest Reserve, Bayelsa State; Edumenum Reserve, Bayelsa State; Falgore Game Reserve Kano State; Baturiya Wetland game Reserve, Jigawa State and Kampe Forest Reserve, Kwara State.
Others included Kogo Forest Reserve, Katsina State; Marhai Forest Reserve, Nasarawa State; Oba Hill Forest Reserve, Osun State and Pandam Forest Reserve, Plateau State.
The approval followed the consideration of a motion titled “Presidential Declaration of National Park Order, 2022” moved by the House Leader, Alhassan Ado Doguwa at plenary Thursday.
Presenting the motion on Doguwa’s behalf, the deputy majority leader, Hon. Peter Akpatason recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari had on November 16, 2022 signed a Declaration Order, designating 10 parks across Nigeria as national parks.
Doguwa said the request was in tandem with the provisions of Section 18 of the National Park Service Act.
He said: “Subject to this Act, the President with the concurrence of the National Assembly, may by order published in the gazette – (a) declare such areas in the Federation as he may deem fit as National Parks which shall be subject to the provisions of the Act.
“Or, an order made under Subsection (i) of this section shall – (a) set out the situation limits of each National Park; (b) specify the intern management policy for the National Park, and (c) specify the classification of the “National Park”.
According to the leader, the Order will achieve the following objectives “the Declaration of new National Parks; name, situation and limits of the new National Park; and constitution of the National Parks Management Committee.”
But in his reaction, the deputy minority leader, Hon. Toby Okechukwu raised opposition against the motion on the point of practicality of establishing additional national parks.
While acknowledging the right of the President to create such parks subject to the approval of Parliament, he said that the state of the existing ones was worrisome.
He called for a “framework for effective management and safety of the parks is practiced”, adding that “bandits and terrorists” could easily occupy the existing ones if not taken care of.
But in his contribution, deputy Speaker of the House, Ahmed Idris Wase intoned that the motion will create more employment opportunities.
The Chairman House committee on Navy, Hon. Yusuf Gagdi in his contribution said the motion was within the constitutional powers of the president.
Also, Munir Dan-Agundi (APC, Kano) cited Baturiye Game Reserve, in Jigawa, saying it had provided a space for relaxation.
The motion was eventually adopted after the support of the majority.